When any person finds another, a battle takes place within their mind between two opposing forces. These are: the desire to empathize with and cherish the other person, and the desire to see them humiliated, abused and subjugated. Most people are less likely to feel empathy for people from a different social class, and many latch onto complex moral philosophies to justify the winner of the subconscious battle. Few have the courage to recognize their own motives.
All art requires empathy in order to function, for if you do not viscerally feel the plight of other people, how can you hope to create art that makes an emotional connection to them? Science, as a collaboration, is just as dependent on empathy, and the rewards of science do not empower the original scientist so much as they empower everyone who hears of and can apply those scientific discoveries.
And so, empathy brings us everything that our big brains are capable of bringing, everything unique to us as a species. The desire to dominate and feel power over others makes us brutal and terrible beasts.
I am an atheist and am compelled by absolute morality to fight against the lust for power, triumph and abuse within myself and in the world.